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Elbow Trauma

The elbow is a complex joint of the upper limb, formed by the articulation of the long bone of the upper arm or humerus, and the two bones of the forearm - the radius and ulna. It is one of the important joints of the upper limb and is involved in basic movements such as bending and extending the arm and rotating the forearm.

Symptoms of Elbow Injuries

The common symptoms of injury to the elbow joint and its surrounding structures include swelling and pain, which may extend from the elbow to the forearm and be aggravated by movements of the wrist. Sometimes, instability of the joint may also be seen.

Common Elbow Injuries

Some common elbow injuries include:

Elbow Fractures

A fracture is a common injury to the elbow. Elbow fractures may result from a fall onto an outstretched wrist, a direct impact to the elbow, or a twisting injury. Elbow fractures cause pain, swelling, tenderness, and discomfort with movement. If a fracture is suspected, immediate intervention by your doctor is necessary. Surgery may be required if bone displacement is observed.

Golf Injuries to the Hand, Wrist or Elbow

Golf, a popular sport, involves the stressful action of the elbow, forearm and wrist. Insufficient strength in the forearms is the major cause for wrist and hand injuries in golfers. Common injuries in golfers include:

Tennis Elbow/Golfer's Elbow: Tennis elbow is the discomfort on the outside of the elbow, whereas golfers elbow is tendinitis on the inner side of the elbow. Overuse of the arms or a traumatic blow to the hand can cause either of these conditions. These injuries cause severe pain and tenderness of the affected muscles with pain that may radiate down into the forearm, particularly with the use of the hand and wrist. Adequate rest and immobility of the affected part help the muscles to recover, while modification of activities helps with healing. Heat therapy followed by stretching and strengthening exercises and ice massage may also be beneficial. Pain medications may be recommended to relieve pain and inflammation.

Tendonitis: Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon. It is usually treated with rest, splinting, ice application, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce inflammation.

Hook of the hamate fracture: Fracture of the hook of the hamate bone, one of the small bones of the wrist, is another injury common in golfers. The hook of the hamate bone protrudes toward the palm and is susceptible to injury from the club on a hard hit to the ground as the handle crosses over the bony hook when gripping the club. A splint or cast may be used if a fracture is present. If there is continued pain, surgery is usually performed to remove the broken bone fragment.

Any problems causing pain, swelling, discoloration, numbness or tingling, or abnormal position of the hand, wrist, or elbow that lasts more than 2 or 3 days should be evaluated by your doctor.

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